YouVersion Announces 21-Day Challenge Winners of iPad 2, Kindle Fire

YouVersion’s 21-Day Challenge

At the beginning of February, we invited everyone to join us for the 21-Day Challenge. Registered YouVersion community users who completed every scheduled day of an eligible Reading Plan from February 1 through February 21 had their names entered into a random drawing. The prizes were an iPad 2, a Kindle Fire, or a special pack of YouVersion stickers and T-Shirt. (Refer to original blog post for full contest rules.) The results are in, and we’re excited to announce the winners!*

iPad 2. Jovanna L. –  Congratulations, Jovanna!
(Don’t forget to put the Bible App on your new iPad, first thing!)

Kindle Fire. Nikita G. – Enjoy your Kindle Fire, Nikita!
(Remember: You can get the Bible App on your Kindle Fire, too!)

YouVersion T-Shirt and Sticker Pack. Congratulations to these 21 users:
  Tracy V. (United States) Randolph P. (Bahamas)
Debi O. (Germany) Andrew B. (United States)
Lorraine C. (Canada) Len S. (The Philippines)
Steven D. (United States) Roxie H. (United States)
Bryan M. (Great Britain) Pamela B. (United States)
Warren R. (United States) Laura E. (United States)
James B. (United States) Sarah B. (United States)
Jake L. (United States) Hannes B. (Great Britain)
Virginia M. (United States) Teresa R. (United States)
Veri N. (The Netherlands) Hazel S. (United States)
Stephen W. (United States)

YouVersion’s 21-Day Challenge Badge

Thank you, everyone! Besides our lucky winners, we’d like to thank everyone else who participated in the 21-Day Challenge! You can view your 21-Day Challenge badge on your YouVersion profile.

We hope that joining us for the challenge during these last 3 weeks helped you firmly establish your own daily Bible reading habit. But even more important, we hope this time brought you closer to God as you spent time with Him each day in His Word. And now, even though the challenge is over, there’s no reason to stop! With more than 200 Reading Plans, your next plan is already waiting for you…


*Winners can expect to receive prizes within the next 7–10 business days. Any correspondence with YouVersion must take place through the email address you used when you registered your free YouVersion account.

Worldwide YouVersion Community, Now More than 40 Million Strong, Making the Most of Lent

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
Romans 8:5

During Lent, traditionally observed for the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday, followers of Christ all around the world sacrifice things important to them, intentionally drawing themselves away from desires driven by their five senses. Lent helps us become more focused on the spiritual part of ourselves, preparing our hearts to genuinely experience the passion of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the Cross. Lent draws us closer to God through purposeful prayer, self-denial, repentance, giving, and time in the Bible:

  1. Prayer. We thank God for reaching out to transform us, and we ask for direction and insight. Consider asking God to help you see people the way He sees them.
  2. Self-denial. Fasting means food, but we may also give up certain activities we enjoy. What things do you think about most? Food? Coffee? Sweets? Social media? Television and entertainment? Commit to go without at least one between now and Easter.
  3. Repentance. When our thoughts drift to ourselves, that’s our cue to connect with God, asking Him to show us our weaknesses and sins. We ask Him to forgive us and change our hearts.
  4. Giving. We freely offer whatever we have to those in need. It could be money contributed to worthy charities, our time, our talents. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter. Visit the elderly. Write letters of prayer and encouragement to orphans. Give intentionally to people who can’t repay you.
  5. Scripture Reading. YouVersion has 5 Reading Plans specifically designed to help you center your life on God and His Word during this special time of reflection and purpose:
  • Words of Jesus During Passion Week. In parallel passages from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, read what Jesus said during the week before His crucifixion. From Glo Bible. 12 days
  • Lent For Everyone. Each day features a selection from Matthew, followed by reflections from renowned New Testament scholar N.T. (Tom) Wright. From SPCK. 53 days
  • 40 Days of Lent. This 47-day plan walks chronologically through the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last week of earthly ministry, with each Sunday offering a day of rest. From Journey Church. 47 days
  • Devotions for Lent from Holy Bible: Mosaic. Designed to help you focus on Christ, this 46-day devotional includes Scripture and quotes and readings from Christians worldwide. From Holy Bible: Mosaic. 46 days
  • The Story of Easter. Relive the last week of Jesus’ life on earth through fulfilled prophecies, intimate prayer, deep discussions, symbolic acts, and world-changing events. From LifeChurch.tv. 7 days

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Galatians 5:22–24

What combination of these five—prayer, self-denial, repentance, giving, and Scripture reading—will you commit to for Lent this year?

Two Reading Plans for Valentine’s Day—One for Couples, One for Singles

If you’re married, Valentine’s Day offers a natural opportunity to reconnect as a couple. And if you’re single, especially around this time of year, it’s worthwhile to remind yourself about what the promises of God’s love mean in your life. Today we’re profiling two special Reading Plans to help you make the most of the relationships in your life:

For Married Couples…

Love and Marriage. 5 days. Available in the Bible App™ under both “Topical” and “Devotional.” Each day’s covers a little of what the Bible says about marriage, then offers follow-up thoughts and activities you can do together to help you center your relationship around God’s Word. Consider taking your Love and Marriage experience even further by trying some or all of the following:

  • After reading, allow time to pray together. Ask God to show you how you can apply to your relationship the things you’re discovering.
  • Find another couple—or even a small group of couples—and schedule time together to discuss what you’re changing based on the Love and Marriage plan.
  • Don’t stop! When your Love and Marriage plan ends, together choose another Reading Plan that you can do as a couple each day.

For Singles…

What is Love? 16 days. Available in the Bible App under “Topical.” Each day presents a passage of Scripture dealing with some aspect of love, then continues with leading questions to take you deeper into what that means in your life. Consider taking your What Is Love? experience even further with one or more of the following:

  • Share your insights on each day’s reading on Facebook or Twitter, and ask your friends to add their thoughts.
  • Coordinate a What Is Love? reading group with trusted friends. Plan to get together at specific times during the 16 days to discuss what you’ve been reading and thinking.
  • Consider your next steps. YouVersion has more than 200 Reading Plans you can choose from to keep you grounded in God’s Word every day.

The YouVersion community wants to help as many people as possible connect with God’s Word. Please be sure to tell your friends and family about the Bible App and Reading Plans.

Great News for Polish Speakers and Readers: All of YouVersion Now in Polish!

App Biblia z YouVersion już dostępna w polskichPolish is the thirteenth language launch across the entire YouVersion experience, brought to the YouVersion community once again by passionate volunteers. Besides English, all of YouVersion.com and the Bible App’s interfaces and tools are also available in Norwegian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Dutch, French, and Swedish. Here’s what Polish speakers and readers can enjoy in their language:

Polish Interface. Set your device’s default language to Polish, and the Bible App’s menus, buttons, and controls will display in Polish. (Newer releases on some platforms will even let you select Polish directly in your Bible App Settings.)

Polish Emails and Blog Posts. At the top right of our English language blog, select Polski—or just go directly to the Polish version—to read blog posts in Polish. For updates and other YouVersion communication in Polish, sign up for a free YouVersion account and adjust your Settings to Polski.

Technical Support in Polish. Visit the Polish version of our Support site for help with the Bible App. And if you contact us in Polish, you can receive answers to your questions in Polish.

Bible translations in Polish. Check the Versions list inside the Bible App under Polski, or visit the Versions page at YouVersion.com. You’ll find the Słowo Życia (PSZ), an easy-reading contemporary translation, generously provided by Biblica. Or perhaps you’d prefer the Uwspółcześniona Biblia Gdańska (PUBG-POL) from the Gate of Hope Foundation, an updated, modern language version of the classic Biblia Gdańska (PBG).

The massive task of translating YouVersion’s tools into other languages only happens through the tireless efforts of a worldwide community of volunteers. We sincerely cannot thank them enough for all the ways they serve the rest of us. And if you can help with either Polish or translation into a variety of other languages, whether it’s technical support, responding to requests on Facebook and Twitter, or even helping translate interfaces, we could really use your help! We asked Team Leader Sebastian about his experience helping to translate the Bible App into Polish. Here’s what he had to say:

YouVersion język polski tłumacz Sebastian F.

“When I started using YouVersion, I was really glad to find such an advanced application designed to help people engage with God’s Word. I started using YouVersion in English, but after a little while it just struck me, that so many people in Poland wouldn’t be able to use it only because they don’t know English. I saw the need, and I decided to do something about it. Now I can suggest using YouVersion to all my Polish friends, not only to English-speaking ones. Thank you to every team member for giving generously of your time—despite different challenges and hardships—to help Polish people get closer to God’s Word and, in this way, closer to God.”
—Sebastian F., Warsaw, Poland

Welcome to YouVersion! We’re so excited to invite Polish speakers and readers into our global YouVersion community. And we’d love for you to start connecting with other YouVersion members on Facebook and Twitter. If you have friends whose preferred language is Polish, please be sure to share the good news with them!

Championship-Winning Coach Tony Dungy Brings Brand-New Devotional to the Bible App

Tony Dungy’s One Year© Uncommon Life Daily Challenge and the Bible App™Just in time for the Big Game this weekend, we’re excited to bring a brand-new, 15-day devotional to the Bible App™ from an American football icon: The Uncommon Life Daily Challenge from Tony Dungy.

Take beloved Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy’s challenge! Strengthen the core of your life and faith in seven key areas: Potential, Friends, Influence, Mission, Faith, Core, and Family. Designed to help you dig deeper into God’s Word and live your own uncommon life, each day features a brief devotional with a Scripture and a note from The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker.

This new devotional is just one of more than 200 reading plans in 10 languages you can choose from. And with more than 200 Bible versions in 75 languages, YouVersion.com and the Bible App have something for everyone.

Special thanks go to Coach Dungy and to Tyndale House Publishers for generously providing content from The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge.

YouVersion’s 21-Day Challenge: You Could Win an iPad 2 or a Kindle Fire!

YouVersion’s 21-Day ChallengeIf you’ve ever tried to establish a daily Bible reading habit, you know how hard it can be to make time to read in your busy schedule, especially when you’re just getting started. Many individuals in the YouVersion community have said that a reading plan helps them read more of the Bible, more often. YouVersion already offers more than 200 Reading Plans to help you find just the right fit for you. Beginning today and running throughout the next 21 days, we’re adding some extra incentive to help you: The 21-Day Challenge!

All you need to do to participate is keep at least one Reading Plan up to date for 21 days in a row. Everyone who completes 21 consecutive days of a Reading Plan will receive a special “21-Day Challenge” badgeon their YouVersion profile. Plus, we’ll also enter you into a drawing to win one of the following:

  • iPad 2
  • Kindle Fire
  • YouVersion T-shirt and sticker pack

Full details are below in the official rules. Join us, tell your friends… and keep reading!


Here’s how it works:

  • If you don’t already have a free YouVersion account, sign up for one.
  • Complete each scheduled day of a YouVersion Reading Plan, starting February 1 (today) through Tuesday, February 21.
  • Eligible plans are any Reading Plan started between January 1, 2012 and February 1, 2012 by 11:59 PM (the end of today). Calculated according to Central Time U.S. (GMT -6).
  • If you are subscribed to more than one Reading Plan, you only need to complete 21 consecutive days for one of them.
  • Ensure that the plan you want to read for the 21-Day Challenge continues through at least February 21. (You can check your plan’s calendar in its Settings, either in the Bible App™ or at YouVersion.com.)
  • Listening to audio versions counts.
  • Whether you read, listen, or sign up to receive your plan by email, be sure that every passage for each day’s reading is checked off as completed.
  • Don’t miss or skip any days!
  • 23 winners will be selected through random drawing from pool of eligible participants. Available prizes are as listed above: Apple iPad 2 (1), Amazon.com Kindle Fire (1) and YouVersion T-shirt/sticker pack (21).

YouVersion Community Shares Their Stories About “The Other 16”

In November, we reported that one in 17 Android devices and iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches) had installed the Bible App™. We also invited you to join in sharing the Bible App with The Other 16, those 16 out of 17 smart phone users who hadn’t already installed it. And your response overwhelmed us!

As we wrap up The Other 16 challenge, we want you to know what happened. At the end of November 2011, the Bible App had been installed on over 34 million unique devices. But since then—in just two monthsmore than 5 million people installed the Bible App for the first time. Thanks to you, the Bible App just passed 40 million installs.

As part of the challenge, we asked to hear stories about your Other 16. Here’s what just a few of you had to say:

“I reached The Other 16 simply by showing people how awesome the Bible App is on my phone. In just one night at our LifeGroup, 10 young adults downloaded it.”
—TJ Wolfe

“I got to explain to some of our church leaders how the Bible App had really made a difference in me finding time for meaningful Bible study. I showed them passages I had highlighted and bookmarked, and even screenshots of passages I wanted to memorize — which I use kind of like flash cards in my photo file. My pastor and our music minister installed it on their devices immediately!”
—Amanda G.

“Three of my friends saw me doing my daily devotion every day, and they got interested. I told them this was the best Bible app, and they downloaded it too. Now we’re doing a devotion together, and I must say it has really brought us closer, both as friends and in our relationships with Him.”
—Cailyn M.

“I love the YouVersion Bible App, and I’ve been sharing it ever since I found it. But when I saw your challenge, it was on. I challenged my family, and they met the challenge. My son shared at school. My husband shared at work. And I shared with my women’s group that first day. When I ran into my son’s principal, I started to tell her about the Bible App — and she said my son had already downloaded it for her! I love your Bible app!”
—Carmen L.

To all who shared your stories with the rest of us in the YouVersion community: Thank you! (And keep an eye on the mail for your YouVersion T-shirt!) But just because the “official” The Other 16 challenge is ending, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to keep hearing from you. Come tell us all about your Other 16 on Facebook and Twitter!

 

How to Make the Most of Your YouVersion Reading Plan

The Bible App™ on iPadWhen you start a YouVersion Reading Plan, you have the best intentions. You’re going to read every day and never miss, once and for all establishing that daily Bible reading habit that you’ve been promising yourself. And then your life happens—you get busy, you get tired, you get interrupted. Hearing what God has to say to us each day is important. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you find consistent success when you read God’s Word.

Find your version. YouVersion offers more than 200 Bible versions. If you have a favorite Bible verse, select “Bible” from the Bible App™ dashboard and look it up. Try reading it in several different versions, and see if one feels more natural to you than others. (To change versions, tap the “short code” next to the chapter name, then select another.) If you don’t have a favorite verse, try reading a well-known one like John 3:16 in different versions. You might even do a little research online to find a version that fits your reading style.

Pick your size. Set realistic goals. If you’ve never tried a Reading Plan before, a one-year reading plan probably isn’t the best place for you to start. We offer plans that can take you through a book of the Bible in as little as 2 days. Take some time to browse. You’ll find plans for 5 days, 7 days, 14 days, 90 days—and more. And if you’re using the Bible App for iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), you can even go to Browse Plans, Advanced, and list plans by length.

Pick your power time of the day. Are you a morning person or a night person? Maybe you take a break in the middle of the day or in the early afternoon to think. Whatever your time, plan to check your Reading Plan then—during the time when you know you’ll probably get the most out of it. Most newer versions of the Bible App even let you set reminders. Try setting yours for your best time.

Find your spot. Do you have a favorite place to think? Maybe you have a quiet spot where you’re less likely to be interrupted. It could be inside or outside. Do you prefer to sit, stand, even walk around? Many people have told us they love listening to audio Bibles while they’re exercising, working, or during their commute. Find your best place to concentrate, and plan to spend your time in God’s Word there.

Talk to God. Right before you read, take just a moment to pray. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate. Ask God to give you ears to hear what He wants to say to you. Ask Him give you direction and insight through His Word. Ask Him to help you understand. James 1:5 says God generously gives us wisdom—if we’ll just ask. Get your heart and mind into a posture of listening for His still, small voice.

Read, or listen. If you’ve done everything else, this part should be easy. Adjust your Bible reader’s background color, font, and size until you find just the right comfortable mix. Or, if reading is difficult for you, don’t forget: we offer audio Bibles in several versions and languages. Try putting in headphones and just listening. You can even listen while you walk, run, or ride.

Reflect on what you just read. For most people, when they read God’s Word, specific things will jump out at them. Take notes. (Keeping track of your thoughts is easy with the Bible App’s Notes and Bookmarks.) Again, keep it simple for now. Replay those things over and over in your mind. (In the Bible, David calls this “meditating on the law of the Lord.”) In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises His people that they’ll find Him when they seek Him with all their hearts.

The Bible is more than just a book, more than the sum of its parts. In fact, the apostle Paul, who was mentoring Timothy, once wrote to him in a letter: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17)

Make the effort to delight yourself in His Word, and to think about what it says. When you spend purposeful, meaningful time reading what God has to say to you, you’ll discover insights that will transform your relationship with Him and shape your perspective on your daily life.


To learn more about the “how to” of Reading Plans:

  1. Visit our Support website.
  2. Bottom: Select your preferred language.
  3. Left: Choose your device type.
  4. Look under “Plans.”

 

New Bible App for BlackBerry Adds Bookmark Labels, Reading and Connection Tweaks

The Bible App™ for BlackBerry on BlackBerry StormYou can get version 3.7 of the Bible App™ for BlackBerry right now in BlackBerry App World, or by directly downloading it to your device. We’ve done a lot of tweaking to improve performance in this release, as well as adding several convenient new features:

Label Your Bookmarks. Now you can add labels to your bookmarks, so you can categorize them however you want. For example, you might create labels for topics like “Faith” or “Parenting,” or reminder labels like “Memorize” or “Share.”

Sort Your Bookmarks by Label. Quickly find just the passage you’re looking for. Once you’ve created labels for your bookmarks, you can easily list them in label order.

Select Multiple Bookmarks. Managing your bookmarks on BlackBerry has never been easier. With this release, now you can select more than one bookmark at a time, so you can highlight them, apply labels to them—and even remove several at once.

The Bible App™ for BlackBerry on BlackBerry Bold

Easier Reading. The Bible App for BlackBerry previously allowed you to choose from one of three preset font sizes. But now you can specify the precise font size you want so you can make the most of your device’s screen resolution.

More Connection Tweaks. Sometimes when your network coverage is unreliable, if you try to do several things at once, your BlackBerry may drop requests and then never complete them. New in this release, the Bible App now saves each request in a queue and monitors for a clean connection. And when you get a strong signal, it sends just one request at a time—rather than several at once. What this means is that now, when you can connect, more of your tasks will actually be completed, and in the order you initiated them.

If you love the BlackBerry universe as much we do, then you’re probably aware of some of the unique challenges presented by the diversity of its devices’ capabilities and the network’s complexities. We’re committed to constantly improving the Bible App’s performance on as many BlackBerry devices as we realistically can, whether that means simplifying code to make functions faster or applying technical workarounds to address common network connection issues.

Please share the news of this Bible App for BlackBerry release with your friends. To truly get the most from the Bible App for BlackBerry, you’ll need a free YouVersion account, which takes just a couple of minutes. In exchange, you’ll get immediate access to more than 200 Reading Plans (in 10 languages!), Notes, Bookmarks, and so much more. And we’d love to hear your stories about the Bible App for BlackBerry on Facebook and Twitter!

Partners and Volunteers Bring Swedish Bibles and Interface to YouVersion

Bibeln App-ikonen på svenskaPeople ask us all the time for new versions of the Bible in different languages. Certainly we’re convinced that the best, most natural way to engage with God’s Word is in your own heart language. And with 209 versions in 75 languages already, it might seem like we’d easily be able to add even more. But the truth is, we absolutely couldn’t do what we do without the generous partnership of our Bible society partners.

Here’s another request we hear all the time: “When will YouVersion be available in my language?” It’s a huge effort to translate all of YouVersion’s menus, interfaces, blog posts, technical support, and more into new languages. This task only happens through the tireless devotion of a passionate, worldwide community of volunteers—people just like you—offering their talents in translation to bring the Bible App™ to you in your own language. Thanks to them, we’ve already seen YouVersion translated from English into Norwegian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Dutch, French—and of course now into Swedish! We sincerely cannot thank these amazing people enough for all that they do for the YouVersion community.

Bible Publishing Partners

Together with generous Bible Publishers, we’re pleased to present the YouVersion community with accurate, easy-to-read Swedish translations of the Bible:

Swedish, Translation 2000 (SB00-SV). After almost 30 years of work, the “Bibeln 2000” is the result of a broad, interdisciplinary project completed in 2000. A Bible Commission appointed a team of theologians, archaeologists, linguists, historians, specialists in Hebrew language and culture, and many other professionals, tasking them to work together to translate the Bible into contemporary, clear Swedish language. Using modern Biblical research and methods, they sought to retain meaning and original context from the source texts. Graciously provided by the Swedish Bible Society.

Svenska Folkbibeln (SFB). In 1983, the Swedish People’s Bible Foundation set out not only to translate the oldest source texts available as literally as possible, but also to develop from them a version of the Bible that would be easily readable by a modern Swedish audience. Members of the foundation wanted their translation to reflect “God’s presence” and His “direct intervention into human history.” The Svenska Folkbibeln (the “People’s Bible”) was completed in 1998.

Besides these two great Bibles, you’ll also find the Nya Levande Bibeln (BSV), provided by the International Bible Society (now Biblica). And YouVersion even offers more “classic” Bible versions available in the public domain: the Svenska 1917 (SVEN) and the Karl XII 1873 (SK73).

Volunteers

Swedish translations of the Bible are just one piece of all YouVersion has to offer. The Bible App allows you to easily navigate, read, listen, share, annotate, and engage with God’s Word, no matter where you are. But even the best tools would be useless if you couldn’t read them. That’s where volunteers come in. People passionate about sharing God’s Word offer their gifts in translation to bring these tools to Swedish users. Besides constantly improving the Bible App, we’re also now offering technical support in Swedish, so there’s always more translation to be done. And we really need more help for our awesome Swedish-speaking volunteer community. If you can help with Swedish translation—even by responding to requests on Facebook and Twitterplease join us!

We asked some of our key Swedish language volunteers, “What’s it like to work with the YouVersion community all over the world?” Here’s what they had to say:

YouVersion Svenska språket volontär Petter J.

“When I’d used YouVersion for a couple months, a call for volunteers was made. I immediately saw the need for the Bible App in Swedish and joined at once. I never could have imagined how much fun it is to work side by side with so many nationalities. Being part of a bigger picture gives a whole new meaning. And to think that I get to be a part of getting the Word to even more people!”
—Petter J., Ängelholm, Sweden

YouVersion Svenska språket volontär Magnus O.

“A few months ago, I heard about YouVersion in my Bible study group. I read about it and discovered that it relies on volunteer work. As I previously worked with a translation project, it felt both fun and right to try to contribute to making the Word of God even more accessible in Sweden.”
—Magnus Ö., Gothenburg, Sweden